April 12, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
The locker unit was auctioned off through Riverside-based American Auctioneers (which specializes in live auctions, but also sells a line of branded merchandise through their own ecommerce software site) about a month ago, where the comic book, carrying an estimated worth of $1 million was discovered. The locker’s new owner (who chooses to remain anonymous), unsure of the comic book’s value, was then connected with collectibles expert and New York dealer, Stephen Fishler. Fishler originally sold Cage Action Comics #1 back in 1990 and was able to positively ID and authenticate that the comic book was in fact, the one stolen from Cage. Cage was originally cast to play Superman in a movie directed by Tim Burton in the 90’s, but the project fell through.
The comic book has now been taken into evidence as the L.A. police try to piece together who stole it and how.
The DC comic book, widely considered to be the most important one ever published for setting the precedent for superheroes to come, was one of three vintage comic books stolen from high security frames on a wall in Cage’s home back in 2000. The initial investigation received a break when days after the break-in, an L.A. area store owner informed Fishler about a phone call he received for pricing on two of the books Cage was missing. Several months later, the third missing comic book, Marvel Mystery #71, resurfaced on eBay. Apparently the thief thought that the anonymity of the massive ecommerce solution would allow him to unload the comic inconspicuously. A deal for the comic was made in cash, but the seller was unable to be reached. The investigation ending shortly thereafter, leaving a truly devastated Cage.
Fishler said maybe 100 copies of the Action Comics #1 still exist, but only about a dozen are considered “high grade” like the Cage copy. Fishler has sold two other copies of Action Comics #1 for $1 million and $1.5 million on comicbookconnect.com, an ecommerce solution specializing in comic books.
Since Cage had already received an insurance payout, it’s unclear if he’ll regain custody of his rediscovered and treasured comic book.
The biggest questions still remain:
Who stole the comic book?
Was the man who bought the locker a suspect?
Do the authorities have any leads?
Would Cage have played a good Superman?
Only time will tell in what can playfully be dubbed as the first episode in the ‘Nic Cage Great Comic Book Caper!’ This my friends, looks like a job for Superman.